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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The driving force of the www.bmwe21.net platform is Jeroen. He realizes very well that enthusiasm means more than creating an Internet platform. Not only is he an avid enthusiast with passion for cars, but also an excellent leader who encourages other members of his group to propose events, plan them and execute them. This allows the group to organize multiple excellent meetings and events, for example the annual Sharknose meeting that has developed itself into possibly the largest event for owners of BMW’s with the typical sharknose appearance.



The platform’s Eiffel tour fully adheres to the mission statement of the BMW AG group, namely “freude am Fahren” or “sheer driving pleasure” if you like. The means that are available are the groups organization and planning skills and the knowledge of touristic area’s in Europe. Granted, there are more appealing areas, some of which are also more challenging, but the Eiffel has the advantage of its close proximity to the Netherlands and Belgium from which all participants originate. As such, the event has an acceptable entry-burden.



Because most members from www.bmwe21.net also own other models, they do not object to odd-balls provided that their owners fit in the group socially as well as technically, the last because driving-skills matter. As such, the event is not about ego, but about team-spirit, helping each other out and have fun.



For 2014, two days of driving were planned, one on Friday and one on Saturday. Because of work-commitments, I had to pass on Friday. Nevertheless, we left ‘early’ at 4.00PM afternoon for the 357km long trip to Daun, the bulk of which consists of highways. Knowing the Ruhr-area rather well, I decided to avoid the congested A3 towards Leverkussen in favor of the parallel running A57 that has the advantage that it intersects with the A1 towards Koblenz, west of Cologne, after which it is a no more than a homing-run towards Blankenheim and from there to Daun over some lovely country roads.



The E28S was recognized by some who recognized it as the very first high performance Q-car. But the vast majority missed out because of its stealth appearance. Most of these are younger than the age #231, for example the two male drivers in the MB W211 on the A31 towards Bottrop. He tried to intimidate me by flashing his headlights whilst cruising at a comfortable 180km/h; a quick burst towards 230km/h was enough to annihilate him. We arrived at the Eiffel hotel in Gemünden (Daun) at approximately 8:00PM by when the group already started having dinner, but we could just chime-in the petrol talk that continued into well past midnight.



The following morning, we left shortly after breakfast in three different groups, each five-to seven cars in size. We headed into a southwestern direction into the Rhine-Palatinate area. The country roads do not differ that much from the Eiffel region, at least not technically, but the Rhineland Palatinate has more scenic and historic places (e.g. Cochem, Bernkastel and Zell an der Mosel) as well as the river Mosel the has shaped the valley throughout thousands of years creating an idyllic scenery that attracts many tourists around the world that enjoy the cultured environment with the many vineyards that dominate the hill-sides.



As a result, there is a lot of traffic on the road’s and the sightseeing tourists generally are the driving enthusiasts nemesis because the first group form the majority of the road-users. Campers for instance form a driving blockade because of their mobility versus purpose and size. Driving behind one of these behemoths can be quite frustrating, especially when driving in a group. Many owners of campers simply do not have the insight of what their intentions mean to others. Above all they are mostly (very) large and slow. As a result, they need quite some space…… if they would take a look in their rearview mirror and allow some space or stop on a parking lot from time to time?

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It is also for that reason that we apply broadcasting equipment for group communication for all kind of purposes. This extends the view of the cars driving behind with the information from the car in the lead. This perspective enabled us to transform the frustration of delay into satisfaction of the action, for instance executing a passing maneuvers in conditions that normally are impossible; admittedly this cuts the line of the vehicle that is passed to the outer right side, but no less than the lane that he is supposed to use in the first place.



At around noon, we stopped for a scheduled lunch in Zell an der Mosel, that due to its scenic location also is a tourist attraction. Nevertheless, the first group arranged to clear enough space alongside the Mosel riverside.



Jeremy’s E21 deserves some attention because from the outside, it doesn’t look that special, just a beautifully restored E21 in shadow line trim, but underneath this is nothing less than an E46S suspension and drivetrain including a full-house S54B32 engine.



The question arises how an E21 compares to an E28S or E24S, let alone the E34S or E36S from Ha?. It is suffice to say that the latter two chassis form a class of their own, especially the E36S that has the agility and power to drive circles around the rest. The E34S isn’t necessarily faster than an E28S, but has its chassis is better balanced allowing its driver to pin-point the desired direction with a turn on the steering wheel without having to worry where the front-or rear goes. The E28S is lighter and more agile, but also more demanding to drive at speed. Performance wise, the E28S picks up from lower engine speeds more easily and therefore accelerates faster from low engine speeds. The E34S has the edge of its higher power output, but that requires revving out its engine to redline, whereas the E28S doesn’t need that. The E21’s compensate for that with their lower weight partially, due to which the difference isn’t really that high on the smaller roads.



The plan was to drive a challenging route through the hills, but because ‘ze Germans’ planned maintenance work on parts of the route, we had to use a diversion that had a large impact on the rest of the day. As a result, we had to rely to using some congested roads, which is not that much fun because of other traffic coming in between at intersections. At some point coincidentally two Audi’s came in between, both of which lived up to their origin from the ‘land of understeer’; braking hard before each turn in and relying on their torque when out-accelerating. As a result, they slowed the rest down because they simply lack the balance of a thirty to forty year old BMW, how so ‘progress by technic’. At the time, my father was driving #231 and he responded to my request of not having four rings on valuable Go Pro battery time. He saw a change in a wide left hairpin, but unleashed the M88’s torque a little to brutal for the tarmac that had not dried up completely so it was only logical that #231 responded with a mild over-steer. This was a text book condition that required only a mild steering-lock in opposite direction to correct the tail whilst relying on the limited slip to evenly divide torque between the rear-wheels. However, the opportunity to pass the four-rings was lost.

Not much later, we took the opportunity of replenishing our fuel-supply with Aral’s finest so we didn’t have to do that later on anymore. The fuel consumption for that day was calculated at 8,7 kilometers per liter, which isn’t really that bad for a thirty year old super-saloon.



The event is aimed at having driving fun; routes and navigation are made available beforehand so navigation is simple and basic and therefore not a challenge. This also allows the co-driver to focus on the roads, which adds two more eyes per car and thus adds to events safety. There is no competition and no time-constraining, An hour late because of traffic….. doesn’t matter. Enjoy driving and the scenery and be a team-player.



The distance to the hotel was no more than twenty kilometers, when the car in front lost grip on its rear wheels in a hairpin that was recently paved with new grit but also was wet. Because the 323i’s limited slip differential, she turned around her axis and barely missed the elevated right side of the road. The co-driver in the 323i quickly gave the thumbs up signaling that they were back in control, yet their mishap proved how treacherous the road conditions can be in the Eiffel due to weather influences.



Upon returning to the hotel, we settled on the terrace of the hotel to share our experiences and observations of the day. This continued well into the evening for which the Eiffel hotel arranged a Grill and warm-and cold buffet in typical; German fashion.



For Sundays, there was no official program other than the traditional visit to the Nurburgring Nordschleife, about twenty—five kilometers to the north-east. The parking lot was crowded by lots of cars including a more than average number of super-and hyper cars such as the Lamborghini Aventador and a Murciliago.







The Dottinger hohe parking place is too crowded nowadays, so Robert proposed to take a look at Adenauer Forst, for which he knew how to reach by car from Adenau.



The drive down from Dottinger Hohe to Adenau has to be driven defensively because of the many motorcycles that have a tendency to take the short line. Adenauer Forst itself can be reached from a road from Adenau and is normally blocked by a fence, but when it is opened, one can reach the track by car, otherwise it requires a hike of about ten-to twenty minutes.







Apart from looking at the track, the Adenauer Forst site also is very scenic and an excellent opportunity to take photographs.



Following the second track-closure, most of us called it a day and we said our good-byes and each went their own roads. Robert and Han with his family joined us for a drink and meal at Hannes in Adenau before we hit the road to north for the three-and a halve hour drive home.



On the last autobahn, the A31 between Bottrop and Gronau/Ochtrup, #231 was allowed to stretch her legs a little. Sustained high speed driving was not really possible because there was too much passing traffic that required slowing down to 100-120km/h from the average cruising speed of 190-210km/h, but the engine is so flexible that accelerating from 100km/h to240km/h in fifth gear is effortlessly and smoothly in part throttle. At that speed, the M88/3’s engine speed is a shy 6000RPM and with peak power being unleashed at 6500RPM, there is no doubt she is capable of exceeding the 250km/h mark, but the poor aerodynamics of the E28 chassis requires a long free stretch of road to do so and that is also on the German autobahns nowadays very rare.

All in all, we had a great weekend with lots of fun and catching up with old friends.

For more pictures of the weekend, please refer to this album
 

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Thanks for writing it all out Raymond! Almost feels a bit like being there :)

Next year I truly plan on joining you guys!
 

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On the last autobahn, the A31 between Bottrop and Gronau/Ochtrup, #231 was allowed to stretch her legs a little. Sustained high speed driving was not really possible because there was too much passing traffic that required slowing down to 100-120km/h from the average cruising speed of 190-210km/h, but the engine is so flexible that accelerating from 100km/h to 240km/h in fifth gear is effortlessly and smoothly in part throttle. At that speed, the M88/3’s engine speed is a shy 6000RPM and with peak power being unleashed at 6500RPM, there is no doubt she is capable of exceeding the 250km/h mark, but the poor aerodynamics of the E28 chassis requires a long free stretch of road to do so and that is also on the German autobahns nowadays very rare.
:M5thumbs:
 
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